Conventions are on fleek nowadays, which may mean that they’re on Kim Kardashian’s butt or something, I forget, but they are the thing for the mainstream public to do if they want to keep on top of pop culture. They’ve been “must do” events for the last five years, and they continue to grow in popularity. The San Diego Comic Con alone is a spectacle of people, news, reveals, and geekdom that can barely be contained in the cities Gaslamp district. It is then, no surprise, that the smaller conventions are getting some recognition, and that celebrities are taking notice.
August 23rd, was the one day only, Los Angeles Comic and Science Fiction Convention. A convention, as stated in papers throughout the venue, is known as a medium sized convention. Medium or not, it took up, what looked to be the vast majority of the 2nd floor of the Reef. I arrived at the convention, in hopes of getting early entry, at around 8:30 am. Early entry was 9:15am, and regular entry was 10am. This is important to note because by the time early entry was let in to purchase tickets, the line was around the block. And a Los Angeles city block is a pretty big block.
Once inside, you can feel the essence of a smaller, less organized convention, as about half the vendors were not even set up for the public. People scrambled to get their wares out for the people, and really, the whole point of entering early was to be able to buy things before the general public did. That would not be the case, and it was all right.
It was like a geeky market, with comic books everywhere, old toys from the 80’s and 90’s, movie posters, books, DVDs, and my favorite, old adult magazines, where elder gentlemen perused them without shame. If you were looking for something obscure or something to get nostalgic over, you were more than likely to find it at this convention. There were no fancy back drops or aisles, just tables lining each row. There were some open, empty space that, bespoke of growth to come, and a singular line that formed, the moment people made it through the door. That line was for the celebrity of the event, Hayley Atwell, aka, Agent Carter.
There were other celebrities of note there as well, including Jack J. Harris, producer of the Blob, with whom people were excited to talk to and get his latest book autographed. There was an aisle just for the various incarnations of the Power Rangers, and that made me smile. At larger conventions, these actors may have been overlooked, but at this one, there was a constant stream of fans and children, regaling the Rangers with stories of their favorite episodes and villains. No one was neglected or ignored at the Los Angeles Comic & Science Fiction convention. True fans arrived and mingled with everyone there, and it was a heartwarming sight to see.
The artist tables had familiar faces as well, like Ale Garza and voice actor Loren Lester, and spotted amongst those attending were cosplayers. It was no surprise that the overwhelming number of people dressed up as Agent Carter in all her incarnations. So much so that after the scheduled autograph session with Hayley Atwell, there was a mass Agent Carter meet up and photo session with Kid Coulson taking center stage.
Speaking of the Hayley Atwell signing, I took the opportunity at this smaller convention to get my first ever signed autograph of any celebrity. I found her to be very pleasant and patient with the several hundred people who were in line to get a photo or souvenir signed by the British actress. Sadly, we were ushered through quickly, with no real opportunity to say anything, nor get our picture taken. So I had to be content with a picture taken on the sidelines, as she smiled and greeted each fan.
Overall, a very pleasant experience that I will remember. Small, single day conventions can really give a fan the chance to really get to know and talk with their favorite artist or actor, and find that comic they’ve been looking for or that toy they’ve been pining after for ages. The Los Angeles Comic & Science Fiction Convention, expect to see me again next year.
Visit their website here: http://www.comicbookscifi.com/index.html